Bay Improvement Group President Steve Barrison spoke at last night’s Sheepshead Bay / Plumb Beach Civic Association meeting, explaining the importance of the neighborhood’s Special Purpose District, and urged residents to join in protecting it.

The presentation came as Barrison and others seek to unite and fight off plans to exempt Cherry Hill Gourmet Market from the district’s mandates, though the market inside the historic Lundy’s building was never specifically named during the meeting.

Barrison gave a brief rundown of the history of the district, enacted into law in 1973, made to protect the Emmons Avenue waterfront from large-scale developments and limit usage to waterfront recreational and tourist activities. The district runs along Emmons Avenue from Sheepshead Bay Road to Knapp Street, though different uses are permitted in different sections. Around Ocean Avenue, where Lundy’s and Cherry Hill Gourmet Market stand, grocery stores and supermarkets are barred.

“Right now there’s a developer and a real powerful lawyer and law firm who wants to change the special district to make an illegal use legal. I’ve been criticized, other people got criticized, some people you hear the stories ‘Something’s better than nothing at all,’ that kind of stuff. But this isn’t about ‘Something’s better than nothing,’ it’s about what is the law and why do we have it,” Barrison stated.

Though the property may have gone through a down period after the latest iteration of Lundy’s closed in 2007 and sat empty for two years, that’s a short period of time in relation to the purpose of special zoning districts, Barrison said. These areas are meant to provide long-term protection over multiple generations. Barrison also said he knew of other restaurants that would have been interested in the space.

He added that the community is settling for less than it deserves by permitting a grocery store in that location, regardless of how upscale it may be.

“If it’s a grocery store, it’s a grocery store, it’s a grocery store. Doesn’t matter whether it’s fancy or not fancy,” he said. “The question is what’s the use and what’s the zoning and in what district? … That’s what it’s all about. Following the law.”

The civic itself, which Barrison is not a part of, initially supported Cherry Hill’s plans to expand in the neighborhood in 2009. But now some say they and the city were misled, as Cherry Hill originally proposed a restaurants with a small accessory market on the premises. When no restaurant was built, and it became clear most of the floor space was given over to the market, the city slapped Stop Work Orders on the property. Cherry Hill opened anyway, and has continued to operate. They are now awaiting hearings with the Department of Buildings and City Planning Commission to exempt their business from the special zoning designation.

“Now they’ve developed clientele for a few years and they want to be rewarded,” Barrison said. “It’s like saying the people with the most money get what they want and the rest of us poor schnooks get screwed.”

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  • Anonymous

    I don’t think I’ve ever cursed on here before but, what a fucking asshole.  Comparing the Cherry Hill owner to Wall Street crooks.  WOW.  He doesn’t want to say the name of the business but everyone knows its Cherry Hill and then to top it all off he makes fun of them and their name.  My God!  I don’t think I”v ever heard a community representative make fun of a local business before.  I was waiting for him to literally ask people to come out with their pitchforks and torches.

    There was interest in the space by other businesses he says, well I have an interest in a Ferrari but I don’t think I will be buying one any time soon.  Oh yeah the space adjacent to Cheery Hill was vacant for like 5 years if not more, where are all the eager tenants to take that over?  And while we are at it what the hell is a sex shop doing in the middle of Sheepshead Bay Rd for all the kids to see?

    The district laws are doing wonders for Sheepshead Bay Rd with tons of retail space available and businesses going under every few month.  And lets be honest there is no shortage of waterfront land for all his fancy “Boston restaurants.”  Just drive down Surf Avenue along the boardwalk and you will see empty lots and buildings for sale and lease, tons of them.   

    Ladies and gentleman this video is a perfect example of a child behaving badly after he doesn’t get what he wants.  He will ridicule, and vilify and kick and scream to get attention.  I am all for following the law, but we all know that zoning and district laws get changed as reality changes.  Usually they get changed to benefit large stores like Wall Mart who have the political capital to grease the palms of local officials.

    • Mikeshn

      Tuth. I agree with you. Mr. Barrison is a joke.

      • Anonymous

        He is a complete and utter disgrace. Trying to be slick with his little buddy sitting next to him trying to look like a mafia capo.  All that was missing was a members only jacket Seeing this video is like watching a bad mob movie from the 80s. 

        • nolastname

          The person you called his slick buddy is on the community board, it is his position to sit there. Will you go to a meeting a run your mouth? I love all the commenters who can punch a key board.
          Go talk.  I dare you to be so bold in person.

          • Anonymous

            Your comments are so predictable that it’s barely worth reading them.  Every time someone writes something you don’t like you reply is always “Go do something about it.”  Well, with two businesses, a full time job and a family to take care of, writing blog comments is about all the political activism I have time for.  You however seem to have a lot of time on your hands.  If you don’t like Cherry Hill why don’t you follow your own advice of action and go build a better food market. Come on I dare you.  Ah, but running a business is hard, so you would rather criticize others who are doing a good job of running a business than actually running one yourself.  That’s what you and your kind are good at, running your mouth about how things “should be” instead of doing them.

          • nolastname

            Yes because I stick to my guns…I don’t change my opinion depending who I am speaking with.
            I do take action, I have been to meeting and protests. I have done community service. 
            You how ever make personal attacks your retreat into safety. 
            You and your kind? Be more specific as to the definition.
            Honest? Sharing? Caring? What? You don’t know me.
            Reply by getting off your ass one night and go to a meeting and speak up.
            Morals are different in your world I guess.
            P.S. If bites is the extent of your activities than you really are just trolling the story.

          • Anonymous

            Oh Jeez, Yawwwwwn.  Same story over and over again.  “Go to a meeting, talk in person.”  Your kind is the kind that goes to meetings and protests while going  after businesses that bring value.  My kind is the kind that creates jobs and improves community while yours stays on the sidelines and screams that the Welcome mat to the store is not up to code.

            Why don’t you open a market or do something worthwhile.  Employ someone, produce something.  Meetings and protests, good lord!!!!

          • nolastname

            If I am boring and predictable do not read nor respond. Easy.
            What jobs did you personally create?
            Ya see, I see “your kind” (because your kind like this term) as greed, selfish, manipulative, lying cheaters. 
            I am not going after a business, I do not like the fact that laws were blatantly broken and no fines nor restoration was ordered.
            If God wanted to destroy Lundy’s I would ask Him to find something else to do.

          • Anonymous

            You are boring and predictable.  My businesses create over 25 jobs.  As of right now most of the employes make more than me from these businesses.  You see, me and the Cherry Hill owners are doers.  And when you do something especially with a complex business like a super market / cafe things don’t always go perfectly.  Try opening a retail businesses and jumping through the hundreds of legal and community hoops to get anything accomplished.  And don’t forget bribing local officials who will get in your way every chance they get.  You however will just complain and moan and do nothing.

          • Anonymous

            WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU PEOPLE!?

            LOL! sorry couldn’t hold back.

    • http://www.nedberke.com Ned Berke

      1) What space adjacent to Cherry Hill?

      2) Sheepshead Bay Road is NOT in the special district you’re talking about. The lack of stable retail is unrelated.
      3) Coney Island is a victim of far more than restrictive zoning. There’s a lot of political entanglements to consider
      4) “Usually [laws] get changed to benefit large stores like Wall Mart who have the political capital to grease the palms of local officials.” – actually, it seems you and Barrison agree on this point. He’s doing something about it. Are you?My intent here is not to defend Barrison. He and I agree on some things, and disagree on others. And, as I should, I remain on the fence about Cherry Hill and the SZD, which I think is reflected in my reporting. However, as far as I can tell, Barrison is earnestly concerned about his community and does his best to better it. I’m incredibly distressed not by just your attacks on him, but by the frequent attacks and vehement vitriol SBites commenters show anyone who is trying to better the neighborhood (better by their own definition, of course). Cant you just disagree with them, oppose them, perhaps even try to stop them without being disrespectful? 

      • Anonymous

        1)  There is a space on the east side of the Cherry Hill parking lot that has been abandoned for years.  I believe there is some construction there now but in the past it has been a rat invest eyesore.

        2) Sheepshead Bay Rd is “designated” for certain kind of businesses according to Stevo.  It might not meet the special destrict designation but according to Stevo it falls under community coding for what type of businesses go there.

        3) Yes there are always thigns to consider.  Nevertheless Surf avenue has tons of unused waterfront real estate.  If the Cheese Cake factory or who ever else feels cheated that Cherry Hill took their spot they have planty of other ocean side locations to choose from.

        4a) Yeah, I am saying since Cherry Hill is not a large store they don’t have the financial and political capital to change the zoning laws post fact.  A Wal Mart or a Target would not have that problem. Stevo’s attempt to liken the Cherry Hill to big business or Wall Street is not only laughable but is indicative that he is willing to twist facts and in order to smear a business he has a grudge against.

        4b)  Respect is a two way street.  Have you seen the way and manner in which Stevo and the old man next to him talk about “the business we will not mention by name, oh yeah, Cherry Hill?”  How can any community leader actually behave this way.  And how is going after Cherry Hill a help for the community exactly.  As I stated before there is the letter of the law and there is intent of the law.  I urge you put up a vote on this site and let people vote if they support Cherry Hill or Stevo.

        P.S.  I am in no way affiliated with Cherry Hill aside from being a costumer.

        • http://www.nedberke.com Ned Berke

          Thanks for the courteous response.

          1) I think you mean west side, where the hotel used to be. It had not been renovated and the landlord was not marketing it until recently (though it has not had a tenant, which bolsters your point. To that, I’d say that it’s not nearly as desirable, being oddly shaped/sized and with entrances only on the side street)

          2) I don’t think zoning is an issue on Sheepshead Bay Road. I think rent is, along with other issues that can be better remedied by landlords and businesses working more closely together on that strip.

          3) No business can just “move in” to Coney Island. All that land is owned, and doing ANYTHING there is a nightmare in this environment. But now we’re quibbling. This isn’t relevant.

          4) Cherry Hill invested $7 million into that one location. Between their two locations they employ hundreds of people – if not more than a thousand. They are not a small or medium business. They are a large business. That said, I also think that’s why this situation warrants some very close and careful consideration – as those jobs in this economy are not to be taken lightly.

          • Anonymous

            1) Yes you are right its on the West side.  The desirability is questionable.  If someone wanted to invest the right amount of money as Stevo says there are plenty of takers the space can look very nice.

            2)Sheepshead Bay Rd has tons of interlinked problems.  But in his speech Stevo makes it seem like the zoning laws are making the area wonderful for businesses.  In fact the area is terrible for businesses.  Why he chose that as an example is beyond me

            3) There is a lot of land either for sale or for lease, lots of sale signs and lots of ads online.  Also the politicians want to improve the area.  If a restaurant wanted to invest in one of the many empty lots there it would be very doable.

            4)  A 7M dollar business is not considered a large business.  I say this to make a point not to brag, but I am a partner in two businesses that between them employ about 25 people my personal profit in these businesses is tiny, hopefully that will change.  The company I work for has revenues in the 5M range with little to no profits, its a tiny company.  I still consider Cherry Hill a local business of small to medium size. 

      • Lena

        Why better means old? What is wrong with Cherry Hill? Success of owners? happines of visitors? What is wrong? I just see something is wrong with Mr. Barrison. I see nothing but hate to everyone who makes money, does business and employ people.
        Being a community activist means that you work for the betterment of community in large not just for bunch of people with outdated view on what is right and wrong. Leave Cherry Hill alone. People like it!!! 

    • nolastname

      Sheepshead and Surf? We are talking Sheepshead Bay and you want Coney Island? Coney Island is Bloomie and his buds doing, a whole issue in itself.
      You may not like his tactics but he is out there standing for what he believes. He has cared for this area for years…..before CH was even in anyones dreams.
      You should not be calling anyone a fucking asshole. Only a fucking asshole would do that. 
      I love how you throw ideas all over the place to make it seem you are still dealing with the issue at hand. 
      So why does Cherry Hill not go to SHeepshead Bay Road? They have plans to push forward. 
      Please go to a meeting and run your mouth…you might learn something.

  • BIG Steve

    It’s clear from the comments that understanding “Special District” and what that means is lacking. That was the sole reason I was asked to speak at this civic meeting, period! The fact that the Cherry Hill has violated the Special District designed to last 100-200 years and not for the the lastest wave of immigration or economic cycles but for many generations. Any other comments are irrelevant and not realted to this zoning, and not on point. The law must apply to all of us, including the deep pockets. Again, SPECIAL USE DISTRICTS are in fact just that, special, and not to be tinkered with, like other zoning as some might suggest; it simply is not the law, nor was it intended to be subject to ‘changes with the times’ as stated. POW

    • Mikeshn

      Steve is a lawyer and he needs the nonsens as free PR. Using the fight Mr. Barrison gets access to DOB and local politicians.

      Let’s face it Sheepsheaday used to be slummy area in Brooklyn. 

      Also, Sheepsheadbay is not Brooklyn Heights because location (very close to the city)…

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

        Apparently you do not understand. Steve Barrison has been advocating for this community for well over 20 years. This is hardly nonsense. Nor does he need “free PR”. It’s about trying to keep the character of a area with a special purpose. I suggest that you read the designation report for the Sheepshead Bay Special Use district before making meaningless statements.

        And I have news for you. Sheepshead Bay has never been a slum. But in recent years the area has become filthy, with empty storefronts. So now it’s a slum for rich people?

        • Julia

          I agree with you on lots of empty storefronts in Sheepshead Bay. However, what  Barrison and others are trying to accomplish? Close Cherry Hill? Get dozens of people loose their jobs? Laws are created by people and should be adjusted to serve people. IMHO.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            What was expected of Cherry Hill is that they follow the law. The definitions of acceptable use and non acceptable use are quite clear in the document that created the Sheepshead Bay special district. This document was specifically created in perpetuity. It simply does not expire, the intent was to protect that watefront area for future generations. It was done because that was the general desire of the people who lived there at the time, many of whom still live here. This document is still binding, as it should be. Perhaps we need to consider legal action to see to it that it is enforced. There is consideration given in its language to moderation based upon the desires of some people to completely ruin what used to be a beautiful and picturesque place to live.

          • nolastname

            You won’t get a reply from Tuth or Local..You talk fact and did not leave much room for a troll style argument.
            TY. 

          • Local Broker

            You need to read our comments with an open mind before making troll like comments yourself.

          • Anonymous

            On the contrary, here is my reply.  How is Cherry Hill not protecting the waterfront?  You can throw the “it’s the law” argument around all you want but as I and others have pointed out there are laws on the books that are so ridicules that no one follows them and they are not enforced.  Other laws get amended as the reality changes.

              I understand that you have some nostalgia for the past, and perhaps Russians coming into the neighborhood was not something you particularity looked forward to, so I could see how maybe you would actually prefer an empty crumbling building on the most visible corner of Emmons Avenue, to the reality of Russians coming to shop for their Russian food with their Russian kids in their German cars. Just the thought of it gives me the creeps and I am one of those Russians.

            So this is the reality.  Cherry Hill will stay where it is, your bitching and moaning will not change any of that.  Sheepshead Bay is not going to be a quite fishing community where locals gather at the local Irish pub to swap stories about how the big one got away, and you will personally do nothing to improve the neighborhood while everyone around you takes advantage of the future. 

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            I’m going to give you another reality. The pendulum is starting to swing in again. The kids in Zuccotti Park are just the beginning of something much larger than they are. It’s time to take back this country. Part of that means respecting it’s history, it means respecting the lives of those who made it possible for you and me to be in Sheepshead Bay having this discussion. The Lundy family played a large role in creating Sheepshead Bay. The restaurant, built at great cost in the middle of the Depression, was a statement of long term commitment to the Sheepshead Bay community.

            Nobody told Irving Lundy in 1934 that he was destroying the character of the neighborhood when he built it. Some did think it pretentious looking, with it’s Spanish Mission styling. But Irving Lundy wanted to make Sheepshead Bay better. He built the largest restaurant in the United States because he wanted people to come to Sheepshead Bay. And they did.

            That the restaurant fell upon bad times was likely the result of Irving Lundy’s declining health. The surrounding area was also controlled by Lundy, and in the seventies his dynamic vision failed him. He was no longer capable of providing a leadership that should have been taken up by others. It wasn’t at that time. That’s a pity because proactive leadership was needed.

            Lundy owned the buildings where some of his competitors had their restaurants. He didn’t charge them excessive rents, in fact, he would help them out when they were getting started. Competiion was good, it benefited everyone in the long run. He donated money to various good works which bettered the community. And he was our voice when attempts were made to change the nature of our community.

            We don’t have an Irving Lundy to protect against incursions that disrespect the valiues which built Sheeoshead Bay. But we do have 200 young people in Zuccoti Park making a loud cry against a society that has lost its bearings. They recognize that money and power is being misused. And a large part of that abuse is the senseless destruction of that which is valuable because it defines us as a people. I’m sorry your forebears were not here when many of the defining structures that characterize our community were built, but they are the continuity that in essence gave you the opportunity to be here. Respect that, because the people are in the process of taking back their country. If you don’t, when the pendulum does move in full swing the prohibitions against change will be much stronger.

            Lundy’s may be the catalyst for reasserting the right to our history. Because it is a fight that can be won on legal grounds.

          • Anonymous

            Oh how glad am I that you mentioned OWS, even though this discussion belongs in a different thread.  Let me say first that in principle, in philosophic principle I agree with some of their ideas.  The gap between the poor and rich is way too big and will not be sustainable

            With that said.  There already was a movement against Wall Street, banks, bail outs, corporate croniasm and the FED.  Its called the Tea Party.  That’s right the liberal left does not hold a monopoly on these issues.  Most of the core grievances of OWS have in fact already been protested against by the Tea Party, so OWS is not doing anything new.

            Now I work three blocks from Zukatti park and visit the protest area every day.  Let me tell you from my personal experience that the protest is a litteral and symbolic freak show.  Perhaps 1-2% of the demonstrators acually have some idea of what they are actually trying to accomplish.  The rest are split into two groups.  The first group is stoners, slackers, and bums.  They wouldn’t take a job if it was given to them today on a silver platter.  All they care about is living off someone else and will support any movements that promises them that.  The second group is over-educated intelegancia with advance degrees in art, music and French history.  Hey, I like art and music too but my degree is something more practical.  Now these experts in French surrealism want well paying jobs.  They should have gone to refrigerator repair school at ITT, they would have a skill and a job. 

            But all of that is just talk.  You, from I understand care that the law is not being broken.  Well, let me tell you the laws being broken, which I saw with my own eyes.  Loitering, littering, public drug use, public alcohol use, public drunkness, intimidation, illegal structure construction, improper electrical wiring, illigal storage and preparation of food, noise violations, tax evasion, pan handling, insighting violence, restricting the flow of traffic, interference with business, and so on and so forth.

            BUT hey, water under the bridge right?  The law doesnt matter cause you agree with them so……

            That’s right my forebearers were not here.  They were in a country that no longer exists, fighting to escape from a system set up by the likes of Occupy Wall Streeters and Know-it-better-than-you Stevo, where the buracracy was chocking off the economy and it’s own people.  If Mr. Lundy was the kind of person you describe him to be I am sure that he would want the space in question to be a vibrant and positive business, which it is.  I think if he saw the bureaucratic nit picking he would throw down his hat and scream “Enough bickering, just build something already”

          • Joe Developer

            You are Wrong! You comparison to Special Use District zoning is preposterous. Of course any laws that can be enforced at OWS should be, where they can be. Those are personal violations, hardly the permenant change in USE and character to a prime waterfront area in the only landmark building in the Sheepshead Bay community, which the COMMUNITY fought for many years to obtain. The market is no “draw”  and certainly no destination to the area as a big name quality restaurant would be. NYC is full of gourmet markets, cafe fruit stands – whatever you want to call it. But it’s beautiful unique harbor to then be complemented by a good restaurant experience would be an anchor for the entire waterfront strip; thus drawing more business to the area for all the businesses, as an anchor is intended. You sound like a Right winger attacking the OWS and claiming they want the same thing. Really? You have demonstrated TUTH whoever you are, that you know nothing except nasty personal comments and total ignorance about planning, zoning. AND the Truth, Mr Tuth, is also that you no nothing about anything except selfish greed and that money and making money in a business is all that counts in your world. Well life is much more than that. Lisanne is right! And you could learn from her. A far as Steve the lawyer is concerned no single person has done more to improve Sheepshead Bay in his lifetime at great personal and financial sacrifice that he has. From promoting the Bay as a place to live visit and open businesses, rebuilding the MTA subway station ahead of schedule and under budget! He was actively engaged to see that the ten public fishing piers were rebuilt TWICE for $11million & then $13 million!, He helped clean up thousands of storefronts from Emmons Ave to Kingshighway. He led the battle with Boro Historian to landmark Lundys for over six years alone. Advocated for funding for our local police, fire and ems, parks and sanitation for our entire area. He supported increased education projects in area schools and the importance of community volunteering for our youth. Steve brought the FIRST local district attorney office in history to Sheepshead Bay and now they have local outreach offices around the boro. He has worked time and time again with the 61st pct NYPD to get repeat offenders in our area to do jail time or increased community service. He has helped several local businesses get their permits when they followed the law but needed help against prejudices against new immigrant owners. I could write volumes because I know, because I am a developer who has built some of the local residential and restaurants in the area and I am an immigrant and no one was nicer, more professional and got the job done properly than the great lawyer job Mr Steve did. The mean personal comments in this blog should not even be allowed, but clearly you , the so called broker, busguy and others do not know Steve personally, because you would not continue to post your destructive unhelpful comments.I have never done this blog thing before and probably will not look here again, but my partner’s son called me and showed me this so I am posting this one time. What you are saying and doing against this well intended terrific community caring attorney is plain wrong and a shame for you. All of us that know Steve know he cares, has a good heart and has put this entire area on a higher level, in character, quality of life and economically. I am proud to stand up and tell you all southern Brooklyn from Bay Ridge to Bergen Beach should be thanking Steve Barrison atorney at law for all he has done. The rest of the comments do not know what they are talking about. Everything Steve predicted over the years has been right on the money, and came true. Learn from his knowledge and experience instead of unproductive destructive behavior. Don’t worry, the hard working people know you have done great work, keep it up Steve!

          • Local Broker

            Times have changed most of the people that lived here when the special district was created are no longer here and are outnumbered. It doesnt matter if this law was created 100 years ago or 40 it was a different place with different people and its now a whole new world we live in. Laws are challenged all the time and need to be because some are fucking dumb. You old timers need to get over the fact this is not the same place you think it was and never will be again. All this guy did was open a deli and you call him the devil. Its to bad no one thought of opening a medical office in that location because no one would stop that its within the law.     

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            Read what I wrote above. The pendulum is shifting.

          • Local Broker

            You dont even realize that the guy who opened CH did the same thing you described Lundy doing. He took a shity property in the middle of the worst economic time we have seen and invested millions into it creating something that most of the community wants. He changed a couple of minor features to the building so he can run a business in 2011 not 1950. You got balls comparing a local business owner to Banksters on Wall St. You are talking about corporate greed being bad but want a national chain to move into the space so tourist can come to SB. You people are fucking nuts and make no sense in the real world. The bottom line is if it was an old timer that was from this area like you are wanted to open this same store in that location and did the same thing none of you would say boo.     

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            Actually, what Lundy did was to accommodate a widening of Emmons Avenue which necessitated his finding a new location for his restaurant. What was formerly at the  location was the McLaughlin Casino, built around 1900, and the Bayside Hotel. The closure of the racetrack in 1920 made these building superfluous, the Casino has been converted into a lumber yard. He did, however, incorporate the Bayside Hotel into the building and part of that building still remains.

            He bought Tappen’s Hotel on Emmons in part because he wished to preserved it. That building was erected in 1844 and destroyed by fire in 1950.

            That was the real world. When the pendulum swings back it will be the real world again, as the sins of excess and wanton destruction will simply not be allowed. There is legislation waiting for the right moment that will require a landholder to prove that a property over 50 years old is lacking in historical or cutural significance before it can be destroyed or significantly altered. In the real world the people are collectively angry. I suggest you look back to see the possibilities there. Ignore Robert Moses and his highway construction projects of the 1930s. Eminent Domain is going to become very unpopular in the foreseeable. Preservation will become popular because it opposes the forces of generating a market in favor of keeping communities intact. Community destruction is happening all over, and people are getting quite pissed off about it.

          • Local Broker

            I dont see what any of that has to do with CH or what we are talking about. The real world is today. The pendulum is not going to swing back to 1950. WTF are you talking about?

          • Anonymous

            Dude, these people are waiting for a Utopia to spring up from the bay, a none existing Utopia from 75 years ago.  My guess is that they are not too crazy with so many Russians moving to the neighborhood so this is their way of saying “I wish it was like it was in the old days”  They will hide behind the law when it suits them, they will break the law when they don’t agree with it.  This kind of thing probably happens in every neighborhood, old men complaining how they could buy a soda pop for a nickle at the local diner.  These people will never take an initiative of building something themselves but will tell others how they should build.

          • liltuth

            the “law” has been created by bigots who never owned and operated a successful business in our area, nor have a track record of helping build a community full of permanent jobs.  Whats the idea here – make people suffer today for better living of future generations?  GET REAL!!

        • Mikeshn

          It is not the news. That’s the fact. 

    • Anonymous

      EVERY law is subject to change with the times, even the U.S constitution.  Saying that a law or a class of laws should not change is logically and socially ridiculous.  Then there is the matter of intent of the law vs the letter of the law.  Cherry Hill improves Emmons Ave, I think you will find very few people to disagree with that. So there is a matter of interpretation. Then there is the letter of the law.  Well, if you follow that, lets ticket every person who crosses on the red light. Also, there is a law that says that on Sunday you can not walk around with an ice-cream cone in your pocket.  Let’s get the ice cream police on the case.  Sounds crazy?  Not any more crazy then digging through old laws to find legal loop holes to go after businesses that you personally have some gripe with. 

      • Mikeshn

        Tuth – you should be a lawyer! 
        Mr. Barrison sounds like very low quality lawyer. 

        • Anonymous

          Lol.  I don’t know, he is self serving and petty, two qualities I cannot compete on.

        • nolastname

          Yes, double talk makes for a good lawyer. A good lawyer will stick to an issue.
          A good lawyer does not need to cloud the air with BS  to make their point more acceptable. 
          I don’t believe Tuth has no interest in the issue. The extent and context of comments are proving desperately wanted approval. 

      • nolastname

        There is no digging needed to be done. It is a preservation act that was broken. PERIOD.
        Your comments about ice cream and such are juvenile. 
        The personal touch you mention comes from protecting the very building that is being ruined. When a person protects something out of love of community it is personal. 
        I still do not see how a grocery store improve the area.
        A tourist attraction it is not….a tourist attraction would benefit the local businesses.  

  • BrooklynBus

    Ned, you say “No restaurant was built.”  What qualifies as a restaurant?  I went upstairs once and a waitress came over and served us coffee.  We also could have ordered dessert if we wanted to?  They also have tables outside in the summer.  Isn’t that a restaurant?  

    The fact is a pure restaurant could not survive unless it were subdivided into four or five restaurants, but you first would have to find tenants.  How large of a restaurant does the law require? If he had a larger menu, would that satisfy Barrison? Cherry Hill said there would be a market and a place to sit down and eat.  I think he has kept that promise.  I really don’t know what part of the Special District Law, which is outdated and needs to be changed anyway, he is violating.

    Guess we also need to enforce every obsolete law on the books that still exists like a $25 fine for flirting in New York State.

    • http://www.nedberke.com Ned Berke

      They call that the cafe. There were actually plans to build a full-fledged restaurant on the second floor, which I believe was halted because of the SWO. (By your logic, I could also call a Barnes & Noble a restaurant because it has a cafe, eatery and tables – but who would do that?… Now I’m just quibbling.)

      I also think it’s unfair to compare a zoning law from 40 years ago (that Barrison said was designed to last hundreds of years) to truly anachronistic morality laws that are 100 years old, if not more.

      • Anonymous

        No in this case comparing the 40 year old law and 100 year old law is perfectly valid.  Stevo’s argument against Cherry Hill is not that it’s “bad” but because according to him it violates a law.  Under such an argument each and every law has to be followed to the letter. 

        • http://www.nedberke.com Ned Berke

          Well, sort of. This is a law that’s still enforced and followed everywhere else in the city. But, sure, this issue also raises the question whether the law still SHOULD be on the books or not. That’s a discussion worth having. 

          So, leaving Cherry Hill out of this, what do you think about special zoning districts in general? You see no use for them?

          • Anonymous

            Special zoning districts probably have a use, I don’t have a strong opinion on it one way or the other.  I do like Brooklyn Heights.  I think there is a lot in these laws that is left to interpretation, like if I color the roof a different color does that make a difference.  Or my favorite in Manhattan  Beach where you can’t build a house larger than a certain size, unless its continuation of the old house.  So the Russian aristocrats tare down the old house but leave one wall standing and say “see we are grandfathered in”  Stupid logic goes both ways.

          • BrooklynBus

            I think any special district or law is worth having as long as it makes sense. I think this one needs some modification. I’ve heard Barrison speak in the past. He makes it seem that if the Special District were heeded to the letter of the law, Sheepshead Bay would be over flooded with bait and tackle shops waiting to move in. He is living in another century. He vehemently opposed Loehmanns Plaza which includes restaurants saying it would mean the end of Sheepshead Bay. I don’t see how it harmed Sheepshead Bay at all. I’m more bothered by all the condos along Emmons Avenue. Where was he when they were built and why did the special district end at Nostrand Avenue and not go all the way to Knapp Street?

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            It goes to Knapp Street but there is more wiggle room past Nostrand.

            But there is a secret special district past Nostrand. But I’m not giving that secret away, nor how it exists. I will say that somebody got pissed off by the wholesale destruction of the community.

        • nolastname

          This sound diff. than ice cream in your pocket!

      • BrooklynBus

        SWO?

        • Local Broker

          Stop work order

          • Gary11

            Steve and Kenneth Lazar are good friends. Mr. Lazar made the dirty work for Steve. DOB is suing Mr. Lazar. They offered him 2 months suspension….

          • BrooklynBus

            Thanks. So it sounds like a full restaurant was intended, but when the SWO was issued for nitpicking like replacing dirty old torn awnings with similar new ones, Cherry Hill got angry and said the hell with the restaurant, screw them. What did they expect him to do with dirty old awnings? Wash them and repair the holes? When they issued the SWO, they should have done so for only the items that really mattered. Perhaps then, the owner wouldn’t have reacted in the way he did. It takes both sides to be sensible and to cooperate with each other if the community will win out in the end not if one side (Barrison’s side is hostile.)

          • http://www.nedberke.com Ned Berke

            It’s unlike you to make claims like that without knowing the facts, BB. The SWO was not issued for nit-picking, it was issued for operating without a valid certificate of occupancy and a violation of non-conformity with zoning. This was about the property’s usage, not awnings or holes (which would be Landmark violations anyway, not DOB).

          • Local Broker

            What they wanted to do was use a loophole saying that a certain percentage of the space would be retail and the rest restaurant space which is what the use calls for. So they put a certain % of restaurant space upstairs and they intended to use most of it as retail. Now the plans with the loophole went through the DOB and everything was fine until certain people in the area started to make a beef where there wasnt one and her comes the crooked Kruger and his minions. Why would a top dog at the DOB come inspect the space in little old SB on his own when there are $100 million development sites that dont get as many visits if any at all from the DOB. Now its a matter of principle for all involved who got the bigger you know what. This is a huge waste of time, money and resources on both sides. My guess it has to be resolved with a hefty fine and nothing else will change.  

      • Emmons Owl

        Designed to last hundreds of years? Why don’t we preserve Sheepshead Bay in amber and be done with it. Reasonable businesses would work together with the community too fill different needs at different locations. I don’t see the any flexibility in zoning laws meant to last for eternity. It’s naive and self defeating when trying to build a viable waterfront in the future. Having to deal with inflexible people such as Barrison makes it less likely that new businesses would even want to bother with Emmons Ave. Things change, the community should be open minded to suggestions.

        • nolastname

          You are kidding when you say new businesses would not even want to bother with Emmons. Did you not hear WE are the hippest area to live.
          A supermarket might draw 1000′s of shoppers but will not draw 10′s is thousands of tourists…..which would benefit more than Cherry Hill.
          Don’t confuse the zoning laws with the Preservation that was acclaimed to Lundys. Which Cherry Hill knowingly destroyed land marked property.
          Do you really believe Cherry Hill could not operate somewhere else?
          It’s not like they opened in the easiest place to get to. A better location would serve the community better. 

          • Emmons Owl

            Sheepshead Bay is a lot of things, but hip ain’t one of em, all for the better if you ask me. Cherry Hill is a prime location with parking, There are no better locations in the hood, hence the high rent.

          • nolastname

            Please have a look. GQ Declares Brooklyn “Coolest City on the Planet,” Brooklyn Dies A …
            Duh, the old Pathmark for a prime location. Oh wait, too far from Brighton or Manhattan beach?
            Too much competition in Brighton? Give me a break.

          • Emmons Ave

            If GQ says so, who am I to quibble.

          • Anonymous

            Yo Sheeps is maaaaad Hip!!!

            You need to come by wheelers on a friday night!   However if by Hip you mean Williamsburg Hip, Thanks GD! it’s not!!!

  • Local Broker

    This guy is full of shit. I was in direct contact with the owner of the property for a couple years trying to figure out what tenant to get in there. Spoke to everyone from Outback, Bubba Gump Shrimp, Chilis to name a few. No one wanted to take the risk of going in there with the history of failure in that location along with the pricing of the space. Its easy for him to say it now seeing how successful CH is. I know for a fact none of this would be going on if the owner payed off certain people when he was asked to but he refused. This guy is not running a sub prime mortgage office out of the space hes selling kielbasa. Get over it, move on and try to do something productive for the area and your time.    

    • Gary11

      Thank you for being reasonable. 

    • nolastname

      And word on the Bay is that he did make offers and they were not accepted. 
      Quite a number of local old time residents know the story.
      You get over the BS, move on, do something productive.
      You think your opinion is the only one that should be heard? Sorry that people disagree with you. Get over it.
      And again….he could sell kielbasa from other more accessible locations without all the drama.

      • Local Broker

        Actually it makes absolutely no difference to me what happens there. Im not looking for anyone to agree with me on this because i have no interest in it. Im just commenting on a story on this site. You are taking it very personal and shouldn’t.

    • Barkingspider7

      THANK YOU BROKER!!

    • Dive24

      Hey, I think a Red Lobster or IHOP would have been perfect especially with all of the booze cruise patrons  :)   So you invest in metal detectors, what’s the big deal?

  • Bugg

    Cherry Hill seems very pricey to me, and I would not shop there. Yet compared to what came before it-a rat-infested shell of an old building-it’s a major improvement. It’s not ideal, but life rarely is. With the economy the way it is, these people should thank Cherry Hill’s owners for making a  go of it in a derelict property. Really-what is the opponent’s alternative? A restauarant didn’t work.As per Local Broker, amjor chains didn’t like the site.  Better they work with Cherry Hill’s owners and get some of their concerns addressed than attack them like this. It’s pointless.

  • geneee

    WOW this guy is a big time jerkoff!

  • geneee

    AND LOOK AT THE CONEHEAD IN BLUE LOL!!!

  • Emmons Owl

    I seem to remember the Lundy building being empty for 18 years, from 77-1995, alot more than the 2-3 years Barrison is referring to The fact is that there is no great demand for more restaurants on Emmons Ave. I’d say at least half of them struggle to get by in the winter months now. Opening another HUGE restaurant would probably hurt the existing restaurants in the hood.This asswipe Barrison doesn’t speak for the community, who funds the Bay Improvement Group? I think Cherry Hill’s problem is not paying the right people, namely Barrison. I am not even a fan of Cherry Hill, when I noticed that they got rid of the beautiful terrazzo floors I felt ill. Nevertheless fuck this Barrison guy, he’s in it for the money.

    • BrooklynBus

      I don’t think it was Barrison they had to pay. It was Kruger.

  • nolastname

    I have commented in the past about Cherry Hill’s Canopy. It is one you see over every grocery store in Manhattan. They sell half=ass quality foods for high end. 
    They blatantly broke laws and got away with it. 
    They do not serve the area out of kindness but out of need and greed. 
    I would like to see them into the corn field.
    “Barrison gave a brief”…..Are you sure it was Steve?
    LOL.

    • Emmons Owl

      No businesses work out of kindness, they are not charities. I don’t know if I would call their food half assed, some of it is good, some not so much. Their prices reflect the huge rent they have to pay. I personally do not shop there often, but thousands of other people from the neighborhood seem to like it. Live and let live. It beats the rat infested eyesore the place was rapidly becoming.

      • nolastname

        My statement comes from a past post. Where someone said Cherry Hill does the community a great service. So, thanks for agreeing with me.
        Why would a grocery store want to pay huge rent that has to inflate customers prices? 100′s does not represent the tens of thousands a tourist attraction would bring. A tourist attraction (as opposed to a grocery store) would benefit the surrounding businesses. 
        Cherry Hill is a damn grocery store. That’s it, nothing more.
        I hate to tell you but there are still rats there.
        There always were rats around the bay and there always will be.

        • Emmons Owl

          I’m curious as to what attraction you think is going to bring tens of thousands of tourists to the neighborhood. Sounds like wishful thinking to me. I’ve lived on Emmons Ave for close to 20 years now ( on the bay side) and I have never seen a rat near my house. Possums, racoons (in my attic), squirrels, and mice but not one rat.

          • nolastname

            Maybe because of all the rat traps set down.
            I have also been in the area 48 years. When Sheepshead, and all the beaches flourished.
            There is a new look at Brooklyn and there will be plenty of opportunists with CASH eyeing that location. A sport of some sort arena? A casino? An arcade? Gee I don’t know, did you see what they did downtown at the Dekalb Plaza?

          • Barkingspider7

            You obviously don’t drive, otherwise you would never want any of these things to be built here. There is not enough parking for residents, and certainly no room for anything like an arena or casino here.  Why would you want this anyway?  Our neighborhood is nice and quiet, and you want to sacrifice that?  No arcades either.  They attract gangs of kids, not necessarily good – remember the arcade next to burger king on knapp street?  You want that in the neighborhood again? 

          • nolastname

            I made the point of options (maybe not the best selection) in response to Emmons Owls question. That’s all. 
            Again, I really don’t give a rats ass about anything except CH breaking the law and getting away with destroying land marked property. It opens too many doors.

          • Local Broker

            You want more traffic in an area you want to preserve. Thats some silly shit your saying.

          • 30 years in real estate

            You must have been asleep for those twenty years unaware of all the community planning, etc. Oh and Luncy’s closed in 1979, Lundy however died in August 1977. The building and most of Emmons Ave from El Greco to the old Sheepshead Bay diner was tied up in the Lundy estate, thus the long stall on development. It was never lack of interest, that is pure bull. oh and rats, they’re out there along all 578 miles of our NYC coastline.
            Steve is a good guy and all thes commenst here show you don’t know him. GO Steve!

        • Barkingspider7

           Why would we want tens of thousands of tourists to come into our neighborhood?  It’s dirty enough  now, and parking is hard enough as it is.  I don’t want even 1 tourist to come here!

          • nolastname

            Yes I live right in the neighborhood. I do not have to drive to Sheepshead Bay. And do you realize Coney Island is cleaner than Sheepshead Bay? Manhattan Beach is cleaner than Sheepshead Bay…..
            My concern is keeping the building as it was. Period. Any other point is moot whether agreed with or not.
            It is what it is. A blatant disregard for the law and getting away with it.
            Steve sees that and realizes it will only open the doors for what ever is left to be demolished. 
            Then you look for parking. LOL

          • Local Broker

            This is my last response to you because your comments make less sense as i scroll down. MB is a residential area with no stores of course its cleaner. Maybe Stevie should try and figure out how to keep his beloved SB clean before he takes on bigger challenges. CI is closed half the year and do you ever venture west of West 19th or 20th on mermaid or surf its a fucking war zone always has been. Maybe you and him should go door to door to every store and talk about the garbage situation or talk to the cops about parking enforcement. There are so many more important things this guy could do if he really wanted to and didnt have some other agenda.   

          • nolastname

            If you follow the thread it would make sense. Don’t take replies without seeing the reason.
            And wooohooo. Done is good. My point about Manhattan Beach is that Ch wants the business.
            I know what residential is.
            Coney Island was not brought into this conversation by me…when someone mentions Surf Ave to compare to Sheepshead Bay…that’s what they got. So to you and the horse you rode in on…
            My point still stands for all the other BS you like to talk….Cherry Hill broke the law and got away with it. This will cause problems down the line. But that works in your favor doesn’t it. I have no personal investment as yourself, CH does not put $ in my pocket nor food on my plate. It is what it is…an injustice.
            I repeat…If God was going to destroy a designated landmark I would ask him to do something else.
            Quit defending a wrong. And YES DO NOT REPLY>>you are wasting your time, for what ever reason you think.

          • Local Broker

            I just want to let you know I have been inside CH exactly 2 times once to meet someone there and the other i bought one thing for a few bucks and have never been back that was when they just opened. I dont know the owners or have any interest in that location property or business. You keep saying he broke the law. Do you even know what the laws are and how he broke them? You are jumping on the old timer bandwagon. You and Lis should stick with taking nice pictures. 

          • nolastname

            Are you talking to me?
            Your interests are in the results, not the concerned parties.
            Yes, I do.
            And thanks for the compliment. You and tuth are in one nut shell also. LOL. Now I am done with you.

          • nolastname

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          • nolastname

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  • Anonymous

    who is that sexy looking flag keeper? He seems to have some sort of agenda on his mind. When I look at him and when I hear the other guy *Steve* speak with funny body language all I can remember is this 

    “We are scanning the scene
    in the city tonight
    We’re looking for you
    to start up a fight
    There’s an evil feeling in our brains
    But it’s nothing new
    you know it drives us insane”
    by Metallica

    ohh and by the way IMO CH is a horrible place to buy food. It’s expensive, prepared by some Uzbek who is here illegally and on many occasions contains glass mixed in with mayo :)

  • Anonymous

    Yea!! Close down Cherry Hill!! And open up a Strip club in that location.

    We can call it, Lundy’s Bro’s and Hoes!

    This way the name lives on the their will still be jobs….

    Sorry for not taking this matter seriously, i tried reading some of the arguments between people and couldn’t really believe that people would throw everything out the window (including jobs of atleast 200 people)  and Everything Gained from Cherry Hill being where it is today.   I think these ppl are jealous that the owners of Cherry Hill are making more money now then Lundy’s made then.   That’s really about it… and no one will tell you otherwise, they will just mask the idea saying there was some law blah blah blah…

    There’s a Law that says you shouldn’t J Walk, yet everyone and their mother does it.  Soooo Go Figure.

    • Anonymous

      The J Walking argument has already been referenced by me earlier.  Please give credit where credit is do or I will get Steve Barrison to make a plagiarism issue out of it :-D

      • Anonymous

        Ohhh Snap!!!

  • Anonymous

    This Super Serious topic needs a little None Seriousness….

    The Picture is wrong!!!

  • Wq

    Cherry Hill’s awesome, let’s sign some petition to keep it

  • Gene Berardelli

    Anyone else dizzy from the spin?   I’ve extensively studied the SSBD when I helped re-write the zoning in Plumb Beach.  First, let me say that when Loehmann’s Plaza was built, the dream that was the SSBD was destroyed.  That’s called precedent, folks.

    The issues, in my opinion are (1) what uses under SSBD where Lundy’s is located are permitted and (2) whether Cherry Hill, which had DOB approval and had the project signed off on before the SWO (by the way, work was stopped – because it was finished!), was singled out for selective enforcement.

    First, the uses.  Ned, I think you need a little fact-check.  I think I’ve said it on here before that among those permissible uses where Cherry Hill is situated are “retail or service establishments”.  Isn’t Cherry Hill a retail establishment?  It’s a BIG retail store to be sure, but one nonetheless.  Bottom line, the regulation is vague – and lawyers cut their teeth on vague regulations.  

    And by the way, if we’re quibbling between food markets, there are little convenience stores along Emmons Avenue in the SSBD.  They sell groceries, too.  Smaller in scale, but no difference in use.  Why not shut them all down?

    That leads me to selective prosecution.  The work and use passed DOB, who signed off on Cherry Hill’s plans before opening. DOB only screwed things up when a DEPUTY COMMISSIONER showed up out of the blue to inspect at the behest of Sen. Carl Kruger, all in the name of “preservation”.  What a crock, IMO – the same guy who lined his pockets with developer’s money from contractors who over-developed Emmons Ave. Cherry Hill was caught up in a political battle, not a zoning battle. 

    As I’ve said in past posts, let’s talk real – Cherry Hill has become the anchor of the Sheepshead Bay waterfront.  You wanna get angry about preservation? Look at the Cherry Hill side of Lundy’s, then look at the other sides.  That should make everyone angry.

    Cherry Hill has done much for Sheepshead Bay’s growth, creating jobs and heavily investing in our area.  To tear it down in the hope that a nautically themed community will spring up out of nowhere is not realistic. Barrison is telling the community to revert back to the bad old days when Lundy’s was a rotting corpse of a landmark – the days of flea market malls and vacant dirty lots. 

    The SSBD didn’t work for decades – the dream never became reality. 

    Instead of inflaming people with empty rhetoric, how about a discussion of a new plan for the waterfront instead of grasping to the past?  One that creates dialogue between the business community and residents, preserves what we have and provides our residents with adequate services necessary to keep our streets clean and our traffic moving?

    • Local Broker

      Its like you took all my comments and put them together. Thanks.

    • Attorney

      Check you own pockets Gene! As an “Attorney” you act as if you are on their payroll. Afterall, you ran the infomercial for Cherry Hill. You have misquoted Steve and you are misleading people. Barrison cleaned up the area and brought business in. He put Sheepshead Bay on the map for residential and commercial development. And for 30 years he proposed thousands of off street parking spaces but greedy “me me me people” like you and the broker dude, wouldn’t cooperate in the comprehensive planning; which the entire community worked on TOGETHER with Schumer, Weiner, Nelson, and all the community groups, yacht and boat clubs, fishing fleet and residents and business owners trying to accomplish what you and the others claim to want here. We have all been there and done that.
      Your disrespect and borderline libelous commenting here and in newspapers is a disgrace to this community. Try practicing the respect, truth, descency and working together instead of your always badmouthing and distorting the facts. I do not agree with Steve on everything, but there is not one honest truthful accurate comment about Steve by the critics that is fair or correct.
      Lastly, Lohmann’s got a variance after 6 years and they lost 5-0 the first two times until a political deal was done directly thru the mayor and he replaced 4 of the 5 Board of standard & Appeals Commissioners who then, surprise voted 4-1 in favor reversing their two previous unanimous denials.
      The Special USE District is 100% clear on the uses, it is YOU who are confusing and fogging up the facts to mislead and confuse our residents. This kind of tactic to mislead people is exactly why people dislike lawyers. The district speaks of complemantary upland uses for the waterfront, and last i checked the Bay and the water are still there! Unless you think we should fill that in too as some in the past have suggested as well?
      Cherry Hill an Anchor? LOL! Really, are people coming from all over to shop at this market? Grow up, act like an adult and discuss things on the facts not people’s emotions that are all over this blog. The Lundy land mark is on its own quite special for all of us and cannot be taken as any other building in our community. Step back and view the future and the past and then wise decisions can be found. There is no reason to comment further, as your past poor behavior demonstrated here again continues. Yes community character though tough zoning enforcement is important and not to be childishly related to quality of life crimes or old archaic laws on morality and behavior. The best areas have the tighest zoning and those communities fight every step of the way and their results speak for themselves. I stand with the community groups on this one.

  • Osito

    Is there a petition I can sign to support Cherry Hill? This is one of the best new businesses in the entire neighborhood.

    I don’t know who these NIMBY clowns are, but they’re obviously clueless regarding the neighborhood and it’s needs. Do they seriously prefer an abandoned wreck of a building? Are they unaware that Cherry Hill includes a restaurant, and received city approvals?

    It’s like these folks are living in 1976 or something. Times change, and Emmons Avenue is so much nicer than back then, IMO. Who would want to go back to the old days of blight and abandonment?

    And Lundy’s BTW, was a terrible restaurant in its later incarnations. Worse than a Red Lobster. Cherry Hill is like a Balduccis or Whole Foods, but with a Russian/Ukranian twist. It’s fantastic.

  • nolastname

    The Russian Market on Nostrand Avenue off Avenue X is fabulous. The pastries, hot foods, smoked fish and cheeses/dairy are very reasonably priced. After 10:30 the prepared foods are 30% off. They have all kinds of cold salads. I know they smoke on premises and the cooked chickens melt in your mouth. The produce outside is cheep and they almost always offer berries at very good prices as well. 
    They are American friendly and the employees are mostly helpful. I go there a few times a week. 
    A person can not beat their prices…..not even NetCost, which in my opinion is still better than the Hill.
    The quality all around is better than Cherry Hill and not nearly as expensive.

    This is change I like, buying things for what they are worth…not what someone wants to inflate and reflect.

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